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7 Things I Did to End the Cycle of Relationships that Fuelled my Anxious Attachment

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Anxious attachment is a pattern of behavior where the anxiously attached person has a heightened fear of rejection and abandonment. This form of attachment style can often put an end to relationships because of the strain that goes with it. 

Key challenges of anxious attachment:

  1.   The constant need for reassurance
    People with anxious attachment may constantly seek reassurance and validation from their partners, which can become exhausting and overwhelming for the other person. Over time, this dynamic may create feelings of suffocation and/or resentment, leading the partner to feel emotionally drained and ultimately choose to end the relationship.
  2.   Jealousy and insecurity
    Anxious attachment often involves intense feelings of jealousy and insecurity, which can manifest as controlling behaviours. Constant suspicion and mistrust can erode the foundation of trust in the relationship… Without trust, relationships crumble.
  3.   Emotional reactivity
    People with anxious attachment may experience heightened emotional reactivity in relationships, reacting strongly to perceived threats or conflicts. This can lead to frequent arguments, misunderstandings, and emotional volatility, making it difficult for the relationship to thrive and grow. Over time, the strain of constant emotional turmoil may become unsustainable, prompting one or both partners to end the relationship.
  4.   Difficulty with boundaries
    Anxiously attached people often have difficulty maintaining healthy boundaries, prioritizing their partner’s needs and desires over their own. This can lead to feelings of resentment or imbalance in the relationship, as one partner may feel overwhelmed by the other’s constant demands or expectations.
  5.   On-again, off-again dynamics
    Anxious attachment can sometimes lead to a pattern of on-again, off-again relationships, characterized by cycles of intense closeness followed by emotional distance or breakup. These dynamics can be exhausting and destabilizing for both partners, preventing the relationship from reaching a stable and fulfilling state.

Can you recognise some of those patterns in your relationships?

Remember that even though you may be noticing anxious attachment behaviors in your relationship, it’s not something you need to be stuck with now or in the future. Deep, secure and trusting relationships are something that is available to you.

Here are 7 things I did to end the cycle of relationships that fuelled my anxious attachment: 

1.

I embodied the truth that joy, fulfilment, pleasure and safety come from within and from living a vibrant, meaningful life – not primarily from being in an epic relationship.

Of course, your partner should add to your joy, however you will never feel truly fulfilled or happy if you are basing that fulfilment and happiness on something external to you. This is also true for cultivating your own sense of safety within. If you only feel happy, safe and fulfilled when you’re with your partner, it leads to codependency and fuels anxious attachment. 

If you cultivate an energy within yourself that overflows with love, inspiration and bliss from the inside out and see your relationship not as the foundation for this but an addition to this, you will be a much happier person and attract much healthier and securely attached relationships. 

 2.

I healed my self-worth wound and stepped back from over-investing and craving constant validation in my relationships. 

 Yes, your relationship is important, however it should not be the only important part of your life. When you invest all your time and energy in your relationship, it becomes the basis for your fulfilment and joy, which as I said above, only ends in more unhappiness.  

As does the constant need for validation from your partner. Be secure in yourself, in who you are and know that you are worthy. When we know within ourselves that we are worthy of love, that reflects out into the type of partner we attract.

If you don’t love yourself and see yourself as having very low worth, you won’t attract a partner who sees you as worthy or showers you in unconditional love. 

When you attract a partner that doesn’t see your worth or love you deeply, it often results in the constant need for validation, fuelling your anxious attachment and driving them away. 

So, LOVE YOURSELF and KNOW YOUR WORTH

Recognize that you deserve consistent quality time, adoration and unconditional love; starting with the way you treat yourself above all else and extending to others, including your partner.

3.

I put an end to my people pleasing behaviours and the exhausting pursuit of being the “perfect” partner.

It’s time to let go of the unrealistic expectation upon yourself to be perfect in the relationship, it will only end in more pain and disappointment on your behalf. 

 No one is perfect, and every relationship will have its challenges; what’s important is how we deal with and learn from these challenges. Instead of seeing an argument or disagreement as a failure, see it as an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve.

Perfectionism does not come from a place of authenticity to your true self, it comes from a mind-based belief that your worth is based upon how perfect you are — it’s time to let that untrue belief go.

It’s also time to let go of any “people pleasing” behaviours… 

When you’re in anxious attachment, you don the “people pleasing” mask because you’re so afraid of losing love that you do anything to keep it. This is not an authentic state of being. It will only intensify your anxious attachment and lead to inauthentic relationships. 

4.

I began to CLEARLY express my needs and desires, including the request for a balanced exchange of energy and effort in my relationships. The era of giving more than I received was over.

 Anxiously attached people often put their partner’s needs and desires first because they are so afraid of losing the relationship. This is not healthy and often leads to feelings of resentment towards your partner due to their lack of fulfilling your needs.

Start prioritising and loving yourself enough to know that your needs and desires are important… And if expressing them ends the relationship, then it was likely an incompatible relationship. 

 5.

I took it upon myself to comfort and fulfil the needs of my inner child, building a trusting and nurturing relationship with her.

I also allowed her to be fully seen and to receive love from my partners in her deepest, darkest vulnerability.

Inner child work can be a powerful tool for addressing anxious attachment styles by helping to uncover and heal unresolved wounds from childhood, cultivate greater self-awareness and self-compassion, reprogram limiting beliefs and develop healthier self-soothing techniques when insecurity and anxiety comes up. 

Facing and processing childhood trauma is not easy and requires a lot of bravery, however once you begin this work, you open the door to profound healing and growth. This healing process helps you gain a greater understanding of yourself and release the trapped emotions and trauma which may be sustaining your anxious attachment. 

 6.

I shifted my healing journey from relying solely on trauma therapy to actively improving my self-worth through healthier choices, even when it meant stepping way out of my comfort zone and feeling a little unsafe in the leap, I felt so much safer on the other side. 

Low self-worth goes hand in hand with anxious attachment. For a lot of people, including myself, I focused so heavily on healing my trauma as a way of eradicating anxious attachment, that I neglected to address my own self-worth. 

Remember that this journey is not all about the intense processes and trauma work, it’s also about making choices based on self-love and choosing to utilise joy and pleasure as a healing modality. 

This may feel uncomfortable for you if you have been conditioned to believe that these things are less important than doing the “hard work”. Sit with that un-comfortability and keep pushing yourself out of the comfort zone you have created and into allowing more pleasure and joy into your life and being. 

7.

I experienced profound healing in secure and loving connections with my partners and friends that bolstered my self-esteem and banished the feelings of abandonment that I kept attracting.

Relationships are one of the biggest catalysts for growth, if you open yourself to the healing and transformation that’s possible in a healthy and loving relationship, the shift you will see in yourself is often quite miraculous. 

If you want to dive deeper into ending the cycles of anxious attachment and elevating your self-worth, click here to listen to my podcast episode “Moving Toward Secure Attachment”. 

 

 

 

Picture of Chantelle Raven

Chantelle Raven

Chantelle raven is a gifted healer and sought after international speaker on sacred relationship and sacred sexuality. Her mission is providing education in radical self-responsibility and the sacred dance of masculine and feminine within and without.